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Lamb Tagine with Middle Eastern Flavours




Tagines, like casseroles and stews, are great dishes to cook meat long and slow. And slow cooking is fantastic for our Southern Hemisphere chilly nights!

This tagine is made with lamb shoulder and some lovely Middle Eastern spices and fruits. The shoulder needs to be boned and diced – my butcher does that for me. Less labour intensive than doing it for yourself.

The tagine itself is the star – just serve it with couscous or rice or homemade flatbread to soak up the juice.

I make my tagine in a heavy based casserole. You could do this and serve in a tagine if you like.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons paprika – sweet or smoked

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice and rind of a mandarin or orange

1 kg diced lamb shoulder

2 eshallots

1 clove of garlic

1  x 425g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 x tins of water (use the chopped tomatoes tin for this)

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

125g dried apricots

125g pitted prunes

Method

Combine spices and pepper and salt in a large bowl.  Add the oil, rind and juice of the mandarin/orange and stir to form a paste. Add lamb and stir until well coated in the paste. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.

Heat a heavy based casserole on the stovetop, and add half the olive oil. Tip in the lamb and cook over a fairly high heat until evenly browned, then tip onto a plate.

Add the remaining olive oil to the casserole and stir in the the eshallots, and then cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for a further couple of minutes or until the garlic is softened but not browned.

Return the browned meat to the casserole. Add the chopped tomatoes, tins of water and stir well. Add the pomegranate molasses. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on and transfer to the oven.

Cook for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried apricots and prunes, roughly chopped. Cook, covered for a further 40 minutes or until lamb is tender.

If you’re not completely satisfied with the tenderness of the lamb you can cook for a further 15 minutes.

Serve with the aforementioned couscous, rice or flatbread. A spoonful of yoghurt is nice too, and some chopped coriander.

Lamb Biryani

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This Jamie Oliver recipe is from the latest Jamie Magazine: http://www.jamieoliver.com/magazine/ –  Issue No 47 Easter 2014.

It’s a relatively simple recipe, the only complicated thing is to marinate the lamb overnight.

The recipe suggests the cooking time for the lamb is 45 minutes. I think a little longer is necessary to make sure the lamb is cooked through.

Ingredients

500 gms lamb, cut into 2.5cm chunks

200 gms basmati rice

1 tbsp crispy fried onions (fry in a very little oil until crisp)

A few sprigs of chopped coriander leaves

 Marinade

50 mls cream

50 gms butter

200 gms Greek yoghurt

50 mls sunflower or vegetable oil

2 large brown onions, sliced

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp garam masala

Juice of ½ lime

A pinch of saffron (optional)

½ tsp each of chopped coriander and mint leaves

Method

To a make the marinade, heat the cream and butter together in a saucepan over a low heat, until the butter has melted. Pour half into a bowl, reserving the other half.

Add all the remaining marinade ingredients to the bowl along with1 teaspoon of salt, then mix well. Submerge the lamb in the mixture and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Add the rice to a saucepan of salted water, bring to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes – it should still be a little undercooked.

Layer the rice and marinated lamb in a heavy-bottomed casserole or oven dish. Pour over the remaining cream and butter mixture, then scatter over the crispy fried onions and most of the coriander.

Cover the dish with a lid or a layer of aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 45 minutes, until the meat is done.  Serve topped with the remaining coriander leaves.

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